Women in rail

Women in rail

In October 2019, the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), representing railway sector employers, and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), representing employees, started social partners’ negotiations to promote the employment of women in the rail sector. After four rounds of negotiations in 2019-2020, the activity was put on hold due to COVID-19, but negotiations have now resumed at EU level with the objective of reaching a binding agreement aimed at promoting employment of women in the sector. 

Women account for only 21% of the railway workforce, considerably below the economy wide participation rate of women in the labour market (46%). For some professional categories, this figure is even lower. Railway companies and trade unions are convinced that the situation should be changed in order to include the valuable contribution of women, to promote diversity in the workplace, and to align the railway sector with the society in which their customers live.

The negotiations take place in the framework of the Sectoral Social Dialogue set up by the European Commission. As it has been 15 years since the last binding Agreement on Certain Aspects of the Working Conditions of Mobile Workers Engaged in Interoperable Cross-Border Services, this would be a major achievement and a key milestone of the European Year of Rail.  

You can read more about our activities below.

CER engagement for more diversity

In 2019 CER entered into the negotiations of a social partners’ agreement to promote the employment of women in the railway sector, together with the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF).

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Annual 'Women in Rail' reports

As an outcome of the CER-ETF-EIM project 'Follow-up of the CER-ETF Joint Recommendations on Better Representation and Integration of Women in the Railway Sector: Implementation – Evaluation – Review' (2011-2012), CER and ETF decided to establish annual reporting on the development of women’s employment in the sector.

Read more.